Stocking Stuffers



I am sitting in my office on Christmas Eve, just ridiculously happy to be thinking about the past year, and the year to come. I have so much to be grateful for. This last blog of 2015 is a thank you to everyone who has helped me get this far. In no particular order (except I am saving Heather at Half Size Me for last) here are some sources of inspiration, guidance and support this last twelve months.

Last year I let my daughter get a personal trainer at the gym. Thayne is young and fun, and a perfect motivator for my daughter, but you know, too young to be MY trainer. Or so I thought. But I watched him work with folks all shapes and sizes and ages, and what I saw impressed me. Thayne is good-natured, helpful not to just his clients but to everyone at the gym, and has a great work ethic.  I decided to be brave and asked him to train me. It has turned out to be one of the best decisions I made in all of 2015. I have had trainers in the past who pushed me so hard and so fast that I just felt like a failure and gave up, reinforcing my belief that strength training is not for me. But Thayne is all about progression, getting stronger and more confident in what my body can do. I have little guns now, but more importantly I can get up off the floor with more ease, my back never hurts, and of course the weight training has helped me lose weight and tighten up. Thayne has never once made me feel bad about myself or my slow progress. I suspect for Thayne what he does is more than a job; it is a mission.

Alyse Sweeney at Write To Glow is my writing coach, friend, muse, and cheerleader. Her website is full of writing prompts, poetry and inspiration. She helped me know I had something to say; she helped me believe I could write, and that my own voice was good enough. I found the confidence to write this blog because of her. What a gift.

I have never met Tom Ross who writes Not Medicated Yet. But he is a hero of mine. He was diagnosed with type two diabetes in middle age and DID something about it: he lost weight and started exercising. He, in essence, reversed his diabetes without medication. If you are middle aged, severely overweight, and sedentary you’re just kind of a time-bomb when it comes to type two diabetes. I want to avoid that diagnosis, so I started reading Tom’s blog and taking control of my health. Tom is sly and funny; he loves to poke holes in poorly-designed and over-hyped research. He believes that your behaviors can change your health in ways that pills never could. A great resource and a lively read!  If you drop Tom a note he’ll respond. Did I mention he is a hero? I am sure he doesn’t think so, but he is.

I’ve mentioned my friend Steven Kalas of Human Matters here before. He is a writer, therapist and Episcopalian priest. Steven is my go-to guy for all things ecclesiastical. But Steven also treats me like a colleague, even though I haven’t seen clients in many years, and I can’t tell you how grateful I am for that. I failed to mention last week that I learned the concept of “marriage as a mirror” from Steven. Having a friend with such a psychological point of view reminds me that I am not just changing on the outside, but on the inside, too. I highly recommend reading everything you can find that he has written. He makes you feel in awe of the privilege of being human.

Shelley at A Fifty-Something’s Weight Loss Journey writes about losing weight in midlife, and what caught my eye when I first read her blog was her willingness to ride a bike, even at the beginning of her weight loss journey. She inspired me to get a bike. She is no longer overweight– she is a runner and beautiful to boot! Her blog is fun and poignant, like going for a nice long walk and chat with a good friend.

I want to give a quick shout out to Jenna because I love her, and I have already written about dancing at Jazzercise. Ditto for Kelly, my fabulous Weight Watchers leader who helped me get started down this path, too.

How am I going to write about Heather at Half Size Me without getting all blubbery?  I am not exaggerating when I say Heather has changed my life. She lost 170 pounds 4 years ago and has maintained that loss!  Heather has over 200 podcast interviews with people who lost weight and kept it off, and they are all available right now for your listening pleasure.  She has the radical notion that your current lifestyle supports your current weight, and that by changing your behaviors, slowly and over time, you can lose weight and keep it off.  I joined her online community, and then found out that she was taking coaching clients! I talk with her every week, and check in via email in-between. I trust her because she has been there. There is nothing embarrassing I have told her about my struggles with food and weight that she hasn’t been though herself. Heather has helped me give up my all or nothing thinking about weight loss. She is practical, focused, and matter-of-fact. You can’t stump her. She is also warm, compassionate, patient and has a great laugh.  If I could wave a magic wand and make you click on the link and join the HSM community I would. Even though she is younger than me, I want to be Heather when I grow up.

Finally, Mac, Eli, Susan, Kate, Sue, Karen, Lisa, Theresa, Rhonda and so many other family members and friends have cheered me on. Even against the odds, they seem to have faith that I can do this, and it lifts my spirits when the going gets tough. Thank you all and Merry Christmas!


3 thoughts on “Stocking Stuffers

  1. Ah Jen, your lovely post has made me verklempt. I remember when you emailed me, talking about wanting to get started with losing weight and possibly blogging…and here you are – you’re doing both, and quite successfully! I’m so pleased to have been invited along for the ride. 🙂


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